Anti-hate proclamation not on Council agenda yet

Santa Clarita City Hall
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There are 21 items on the City Council’s agenda Tuesday night. Not among them is the proclamation promised in December by Councilman Bob Kellar against bigotry and intolerance.

Though only a symbolic gesture in support of diversity and against hate speech, the move was urged in recent Council meetings by several residents in the wake of what they said were increased instances of intolerance, locally as well as nationally, during the presidential campaign and after the election of Donald Trump.

In December, Kellar told The Signal that, in response to those calls, “It is my intention to make a proclamation to that effect, that Santa Clarita is a community that does not accept any form of bigotry or racism, and absolutely has zero tolerance for any form of racial hatred – something to that effect.’’

At the time, Kellar said he hoped to introduce such a measure at either the Jan. 10 or Jan. 24 Council meeting. Neither one happened.

But on Monday, Kellar said the matter is still in the works, and has not been dropped or forgotten.

“I took it to (city) staff, and I have to find out,’’ he said. “I discussed it with them, to come up with some plan.

“It’s still on the radar, I’ve just been so damn busy with other things.’’

The issue first came up at the council meeting of Nov. 22, when Sheryl Lima, an area resident, urged the body to “to make an official statement — to say, ‘We are not going to tolerate any kind of hate crimes in this community, ’cause that’s not who we are as Santa Claritans.’ ’’

Lima’s comments followed those of another resident, Patti Sulpizio.

Said Lima: “I asked them to make the city a ‘safe city.’ People are being bullied, being told, ‘We don’t want your kind here in Trump’s America.’ ’’

Lima, who has two daughters in local high schools, added, “I’ve heard these stories from kids in high school who are gay, Chinese, Mexican, kids who are Muslim.’’

“While Santa Clarita has done a lot to make a stand against that, it’s obviously not enough in light of the political climate,’’ Lima added. “I’ve asked them (the Council) … to take an official stand against intolerance of how people look, or love — to say that intolerance is not tolerated.’’

Mai Do, a Vietnamese-American and a sophomore at College of the Canyons – who was born and raised in Santa Clarita – told The Signal in December that she was recently the victim of hate speech.

She agreed that a Council stand, while symbolic, would be an important gesture.

“I think it’s something small that the city can do to make its residents feel safe and comfortable in the city,’’ Do said.

 

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